TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' program to target minorities with high jobless rates

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By USA Today

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 8:54 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Obama is planning to introduce an initiative with specific targets: African-American and Hispanic men who have disproportionate rates of unemployment.

Under the “My Brother's Keeper” program, foundations, businesses and community groups would develop plans to help men of color at particularly vulnerable times of their lives, administration officials said.

In previewing the initiative during last month's State of the Union address, Obama said, “I'm reaching out to some of America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.”

Obama had planned to hold a White House event last week to officially present the project, but it has been postponed because of bad weather.

Among the challenges faced by the “My Brother's Keeper” program: The jobless rate for black men older than 20 in January was 12 percent, compared with 6.6 percent for the nation as a whole.

For Hispanic men older than 20, the jobless rate last month was 8.2 percent.

For younger blacks and Hispanics, unemployment rates are even higher.

One model for the new effort is a mentoring program in Chicago called “Becoming A Man,” which encourages young men to develop education and job training goals.

In a meeting with Obama a year ago, members of the BAM program talked about problems with gangs, drugs, gun violence and substandard schools in their neighborhoods, and how so many young people are at risk for lives of crime, poverty or early death.

Speaking after that meeting, the nation's first African-American president, who grew up with an absent father, said he told the group, “I had issues, too, when I was their age. I just had an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

Just as individuals have to change their approach and behavior, Obama said, “that's what it takes for communities to change. That's what it takes for countries to change. It's not easy.”

Young men in the BAM program are expected to attend the White House ceremony whenever it is re-scheduled.

Two Obama administration officials discussed the “My Brother's Keeper” program on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt Obama's announcement.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. ‘Patriots’ back Nevada rancher; Reid labels them ‘domestic terrorists’
  2. Del Taco customers mistakenly charged thousands for fast-food meals
  3. Health care law enrollee passwords at risk for Heartbleed Internet security flaw, feds warn
  4. IRS, other agencies award contracts to license plate tracking company
  5. Recovery expert believes wreckage of missing plane located
  6. Fox fires exec who used email to plan aid
  7. Ohio couple married for 70 years dies just 15 hours apart
  8. First date in New Jersey ends with him pilfering her TV and Yorkshire terrier
  9. Mauling puts bears back on firing line in Central Florida
  10. Washington’s snowy owl recovers from apparent bus crash, returns to wild
  11. Drug crime reclassification to help ex-cons get vote rights
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.